There is a lot of misinformation that creates unrealistic expectations around content marketing and prevents many businesses from succeeding. Don’t let these five myths slow you down.
Myth: The more content, the better.
Reality: As with many things in life, more doesn’t always mean better. When creating content, never sacrifice quality for quantity. Instead of pushing out content for the sake of doing it, take the time to understand your audience, research how they consume content and develop a plan. Spend time creating a few pieces of quality content that are memorable and meaningful to your target audience.
Then focus your efforts on distribution. Don’t just send out a social media promotion or an email blast and walking away. Optimize for SEO and test multiple channels to discover what works best. Post content on your own website or a dedicated landing page, but also consider developing guest content for other relevant sources to expand your reach.
And don’t forget to repurpose. For example, you can break up a white paper into several blog posts and social media updates, or reimagine an infographic as a short video. The possibilities are endless.
Myth: Content marketing doesn’t work for B2B.
Reality: Content marketing is a powerful tool for both acquisition and retention. It’s also a great way to explain a complex process, product or service. B2B’s longer sales cycle means prospects often spend more time at the top of the funnel, creating multiple opportunities for engagement and lead nurturing via content.
Use content to guide prospects along their decision journey and warm them up for a conversation with your sales team when they’re ready. Once converted, create content to welcome new clients or customers and reinforce that they made the right decision. Then strengthen the relationship and keep them engaged with ongoing content.
Myth: Content marketing is purely digital.
Reality: Many people believe content marketing only lives online—it’s the blog posts, white papers, videos, etc. that are available on landing pages, distributed via social media channels or email. In reality, content marketing should be woven into every touchpoint—online and offline—that you have with a customer. It can play an important role in more traditional direct marketing campaigns and even in-person sales meetings. Remember, content marketing is ultimately an experience that you’re creating for your target audience, built around a narrative that ties back to your business.
Myth: Creating quality content is easy (and inexpensive).
Reality: This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about content marketing. Sure, anyone can create content. But creating and distributing top-tier content that gets results requires strategic thinkers, experienced writers, designers and developers. It requires a thorough understanding of your target audience, the ability to create an impactful story and a smart strategy that includes a plan for testing and measurement.
Myth: Content marketing must drive sales and earn ROI quickly.
Reality: Content marketing is a process that takes time. You can’t expect to see results overnight. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time, and it certainly doesn’t mean it can’t be measured. Consider metrics that will help you measure brand awareness, conversions and retention. Pay attention to things like page views, downloads, time on site, subscriptions, paid versus organic search traffic, repeat versus new visitors, social likes and shares and cost per lead.
When planned and executed correctly, content marketing is an extremely powerful brand-building tool. It allows you to develop long-lasting relationships with your target audience and is critical at all stages of your customer journey – from new customer acquisition, to nurturing, retention and referrals.
To learn more content marketing tips, check out the on-demand session “Content-First Marketing: Tips, Ideas and Best Practices,” part of Chief Marketer’s recent virtual conference, 5 Marketing Trends to Bet On in 2018. Click here to register.